In a recent filing before federal Judge Tanya Chutkan in the criminal case in which Special Counsel Jack Smith accuses Trump of attempted election interference, the government asks that a request from Trump’s team for a hearing on a particular motion to dismiss the case be denied. The motion at issue claims selective and vindictive prosecution on the government’s part. Those are specific legal concepts.
In general, prosecutors tear into the arguments that Trump’s team presented purportedly supporting their claims. For instance, the idea comes up in Trump’s filings that his prosecution is meaningfully connected to President Joe Biden, but there’s just no evidence he’s pulling any strings here — something Smith’s team said in court would lead them to exit the case (in protest) if it was happening. As for Trump seeking a hearing, Smith’s team characterizes the push as an attempt at getting around rigorous standards for proof he’s purportedly already failed to meet.
“Having failed to satisfy his burden to bring forth any factual support for his claims, the defendant contends nevertheless that he is entitled to a hearing and “additional fact finding before these arguments can be resolved,”” prosecutors said. “Tellingly, however, the defendant does not provide the Court with even the roughest sketch of what this “fact finding” would entail or uncover. The defendant cannot come close to meeting the high bar to justify discovery on his selective or vindictive prosecution claims. […] The Court should reject the defendant’s request for a hearing as an end-run around the “rigorous” tests for discovery.”
In this same filing (from last week), the government rebuffed the argument that Trump’s prosecution in the election case was some kind of retaliation for his plea of not guilty in the separate, preceding case accusing him of criminality in his handling of classified documents. Meanwhile, they’ve also recently torn into other ideas, like that the First Amendment shields Trump here and that his Senate acquittal on impeachment charges in 2021 provides relevant protection. Prosecutors contend that an ambition for indefinite delay underlies a lot of what Trump’s team is doing.